An Insider -FASHFEST ’18

From running errands pre-show, directing backstage, modelling and then sitting front row. I have been a part of everything FASHFEST has to offer.

My experience with FASHFEST goes back many years when I started as an intern for the media communications firm that runs the show Clarity Communications. I had previously walked in the shows so was keen to be involved in every aspect that I could. The more I could learn, the better. I then moved from the media team to the directing team and assisted in running the backstage while modelling in a number of the shows and running VIP tours.

Fast forward three years. I now work alongside Clint at Morganson’s Finery and am apart of Haus models. After having experienced every part of FASHFEST except for enjoy the show from the front row I took this year as my chance. Little did I know that I couldn’t just yet hang up my director clogs and once again found myself back stage organising models and designers as director. This year however was a whole new event, and a much simpler format.


The day of FASHFEST was spent at work (sorry Anthony!!) running errands with my partner (who I would have been a mess without), driving around in a divine Audi A6, courtesy of Audi Canberra and then getting ready with Axis Hairdressing and Morganson’s Finery. We somehow made it to the Gallery by 5pm to set up.


With the whole venue to be set up still we set to work stuffing gift bags, numbering seats and briefing models. Within what felt like seconds the doors opened and all the guest arrived. After a drink and a mingle the guest were sent down the escalators soon to be runways to be seated.


Backstage was going through final touch ups and run throughs, then show time! I stood with the models and when signalled sent them down the towering escalators, down toward the eager audience. Three designers and a grande finale later and the first show came to an end.

At this point I left the running of backstage in the capable hands of my crew and I joined the party. A few fancy Quandong gin cocktails down and pap snaps taken, Mitch and I made our way down the escalators to our front row seats.

It wasn’t until I was seated looking up at Haus model Kahu floating down the grand escalators that the dramatic effect of the escalators kicked in.


Megan Canning designs was beautifully feminine. She used lavish amounts of tulle, lace and silk. Charly Thorn’s collection was beautifully bold, combining bright pops of block colours and monochrome prints. Hajar Gala Couture was simple divine, showcasing soft bridal gowns. Donned in lace and sequins, each piece was a work of art.

And with the last gown disappearing up the escalators FASHFEST ’18 was over. The excitement of watching the collections was wonderful but I must say the thrill of walking in a collection is something else. A commendable effort to the models for the skill it took to keep the gowns out of the escalators.

An outstanding effort the FASHFEST team, for pulling off a new and exciting show. Congrats to Clint & Andrea for the blood, sweat and tears that went into the event. It’s always wild but a pleasure working alongside two such driven and creative people.
Stay tuned for the next FASHFEST show, SO much in store.

Change It Up – FASHFEST ’18

With only 5 days until FASHFEST 2018 debut at the NGA, tickets are selling fast!

This year, FASHFEST has changed things up, as it does every couple of years. ‘We want to keep fresh for our fans,’ says co-founder Clint Hutchinson. ‘This year we’re hosting a series of rolling shows in venues of cultural and historic significance in Canberra, showcasing the beauty of architecture as well as the beauty of the fashion.’ The NGA event will see three designers present collections that showcase cocktail glam and elegant bespoke gowns. Voluptuous  amounts of layered fabrics will don the escalator runway in an artistic twist on what FASHFEST has perviously presented. 


The evening will see three designers present collections in the NGA’s foyer turning the massive escalators into towering runways.

Hajar Gala’s luxury couture has been featured in the most exclusive fashion magazines internationally, including Collezioni Haute Couture. The designer and her label, Hajar Gala Couture, has a reputation as one of Australia’s most elegant couturiers. Hajar will showcase gowns not seen before in Canberra, with some appearing at Paris Fashion Week.  ‘As a designer I believe there’s a strong relationship between art and fashion,’ says Hajar who creates elegant silhouettes, each with a timeless quality and each requiring tremendous skill to construct.


Megan Cannings Designs has just returned from New York Fashion Week.  Her new season collection stays true to her aesthetic—feminine, floaty and true fairy tale-like gowns and showstopper evening wear. This is her third appearance at FASHFEST and she was selected to show internationally after photographs of her initial FASHFEST collection was spotted through social media. ‘I remember as a little girl looking at Princess Diana and drawing pretty dresses I wanted her to wear,’ says Megan.


The third designer at the NGA show is Charly Thorn who received a roaring round of applause at her debut FASHFEST show in 2016, when she was just 17 years of age. Charly, from Cooma, has gone from strength-to-strength and has also showcased internationally. Her resort wear collection was photographed in the Bahamas. Charly is concentrating on high-end cocktail glam aesthetic, with special printed silks.


Models for the show have been selected from Canberra’s three top modelling agencies, Devojka Models, Victoria’s Models and HAUS Models. ‘We’ve selected really experienced runway models based on what the agency’s have put forth as their best talent—models who can walk in massive gowns on a moving escalator with little rehearsal time given that this major space has to be available to the public,’ says FASHFEST co-founder Andrea Hutchinson.

Next up for FASHFEST will be shows in December and February, with venues to be announced. FASHFEST may also pop up periodically with surprise events during the next few months.




She Wore What – Violet Grace Atkinson

What is fashion without the people who wear it. This kicks of a weekly sequence of interviews with some Australia’s most stylish. Stay tuned, as each week I will introduce you to another bold, unique and beautiful person who’s style I find encapsulating.

N: First up, who are you and what makes you tick? Introduce yourself!

V: My name is Violet Grace Atkinson, I am 24 and from Australia. I am a lawyer by trade, influencer (which is a fancy term for an all-rounder creative that dabbles on photography/styling etc) and am also currently completing a PhD at Bond University on the topic of intellectual property law and its application to fashion design. 


N: Tell me about your day to day style?  

V: My day-to-day style is sporty mixed with tailoring and structure. For example, as I am answering this question I am wearing bike shorts, Balenciaga speed trainers and a hoody underneath a tuxedo blazer. I am a big fan of layering and adding extra texture to outfits with layers as opposed to a lot of accessories.  


N: How do you express yourself through your look? What does it say about you? 

V: Just by wearing what I feel comfortable and powerful in. I am a busy person that likes to get a lot done in the day (my friends and family say I am an A-type personality haha) and perhaps I dress for that without realising. On a daily basis I would not say I have a feminine style, for me femininity can come through in my outfits through accentuation of feminine features (i.e. my waist or décolletage) and fresh-faced, glowy makeup.


N: What are your go to colours?

V: This changes depending on the season so I don’t have a go-to colour really. I do wear a lot of black and white however at the moment I am really feeling bright orange, yellow, chartreuse, all shades of blue and fuchsia. 


N: Is there a piece in your wardrobe you couldn’t live without? Most essential staple?

V: This is too hard to answer! I live in my Balenciaga speed trainers and Alexander McQueen white sneakers however I also need to have a good black tailored blazer. At the moment I am really feeling bike shorts too and I have these Stella McCartney yellow ones (that I am actually wearing now) which are getting thrashed. I would be sad to lose those.

N: How do you accessories your style?  

V: Always with sunglasses. Also, this is not really a fashion-answer but good hair is one of the best ways to bring your outfit to the next level – hair that is clean, has volume and movement adds another element and makes you look polished/put together (even if you feel like your life is a shambles haha). 

N: From where and who do you find inspiration?  

V: Instagram, instagram and instagram. I am a huge fan of street style photographers – fashion month is giving me LIFE at the moment. I also love Margaret Zhang and Xenia Adonts for inspiration – they have immaculate style and still do their own thing.  


N: Must follow designers and models? Favourite brands? 

V: Jacquemus is my favourite designer on IG at the moment. Elliot Garnaut is my favourite Aussie stylist – his instagram is funny and interesting. In terms of models, you can never go past the Hadids – their stylist Mimi Cutrell (also a must-follow) keeps them in some incredible outfits that are never-ending for style inspo.


N: If you could give Canberra some advice about street style and fashion, what would it be? 

V: I have never been to Canberra so any advice I have must be taken with a grain of salt! I think in general the best advice is just to wear what you feel comfortable/great in. Do not follow a trend if you don’t like wearing it. Also, don’t copy what people wear – make it your own and add elements of your own personality into it. 


N: If you could collab with anyone who would it be and why?

This question can be answered in so many different ways and I don’t have a particular response to it. I love photography and styling so creating really beautiful content for a brand such as Jacquemus or Dior would be a dream. On the brainer side of things (law and fashion), I want to collab with other game changers to learn more and potentially bring about law reform so that Aussie designers feel as though they are getting better support (and even just a better understanding) for the law and how it applies to their business and creativity. I would also love to work with Vogue Australia on styling a piece that includes both men and women (because I love androgyny and unisex style).


N: A parting word?

V: My parting word is to identify your core ‘beliefs’ and then work really hard and stay authentic to those. For me, becoming a lawyer was something I had wanted to do for so long but so was working in fashion. So I did both! There are 24 hours in a day and I am a huge believer in throwing the whole idea of the 9-5 out the window. That is not me saying don’t get a 9-5 job – I had one of those for a good 3.5 years out of University – but I would throw myself into fashion work every weekend/outside work hours/on my lunch breaks because I was passionate about it. Also, when you love something it doesn’t feel like work so much. 

Autumn in The Capitol

My Top 5 picks and favourite trends for AW ’18 in Canberra.

Those local to CBR know how brutally cold it gets here and that the way to survive is through layering.

Autumn is deceptive at the best of times. We find it below 10 degrees in the morning, then at least 22 degrees and sunny by midday!

So, below are my favourite layered looks for this season- seen across the globe at various fashion weeks.



Keep it casual with the awful but somehow fabulous trend of chunky dad sneakers. Plaid over sized blazers are a must have and layer perfectly over a plain tee or light sweater.

The perfect outfit that’ll take you across all occasions throughout the day.

2. Image: Danielle, WeWoreWhat


What better way to keep wearing your favourite dresses, even as it cools down, than to pop on tights and a pair of boots!

This outfit can be so diverse and worn for all occasions. Patterned tights can add detail to a plainer dress and the height of your boots will add formality.

For those cooler mornings and evenings pair with a crop leather jacket or longer coat.

3.Holly Titheridge - Paris Fashion Week ‘18


For those warmer days, brave bare legs and flat boots pair with a statement mini skirt. Layer with a light jumper and structured over coat to achieve optimal comfort no matter the time of day.

Style with a hat or beret for a chic warm look. A silk neck tie or scarf can be a fun alternative to a necklace!



ALL THINGS FUR THIS SEASON!! Whether it’s cropped or floor length a fur is a must have this season! As we saw across fashion month, it’s all about bold colours when it comes to fur – stray from tradition and grab something a little extra!

I can’t get enough of pastel pink, brilliant red and crazy cheetah patterned furs. You’ll catch me wearing them with equally flamboyant pants too. Plaid is the new plain – find a cheque that suits you and wear them EVERYWHERE! They are such a diverse pant and again can be dressed up or down with shoe choice and accessories.

Use them as a statement piece or layer with a matching jacket.



I LOVE this trend! It is so perfect for the bipolar weather we have here in Canberra. A lighter denim or Cotten jacket under an over coat.

This is what AW fashion is about – paring unlikely items together to create something unique, bold and warm!

The layering of jackets creates a new dimension to the look and can take the outfit from a just tee shirt to be worn inside to park side coffee with all layers intact.

Again plaid is a prominent feature for over coats or blazers. Jeans will give a casual everyday feel to the look while slacks or culottes will formalise it. Pair with chunky sneakers, mules or boots depending on the occasion and your mood!

Hands up who can’t wait for Autumn to officially roll in!?

Let me know you’re favourite looks this season in the comments below! Jump across to our Facebook for latest updates.

N x


As winter comes to an end and spring blows in, Canberra takes its layers off and dusts of its red-carpet attire in anticipation for its largest fashion event of the year, FASHFEST.

Now in its fifth year, the National Convention Center will stage 3 epic nights, 6 distinct shows. One total fashion experience. FASHFEST held from 28th – 30th September will show case over 40 local, national and international designers. All putting forward new season collections and inspirational collaborations.  Fifteen live musicians and DJ’s will also showcase on the runway.

This year FASHFEST shines the spotlight on textiles and designs from the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Foundation. This features 12 indigenous designers, each presenting a high-end look from textile created in remote communities in the Northern Territory.

New this year, FASHFEST is host to six diverse designers from New Zealand, including several labels from Trelise Cooper, one of the country’s hottest fashion exports. This show is sponsored by the New Zealand high commission.

Returning this year are veteran designers such as Karen Lee, Zilpah Tart. Many local emerging Canberra designers will be making their debut on the cat walk such as Gabrielle Spenser Bridal and De Challie Haute Couture.

Tickets start from $49. VIP and Platinum experiences include an exclusive guided backstage tour. Discount available for two shoe packages and for bookings of six tickets.

FASHFEST will be held at the National Convention Center Canberra. The first show on each night starting promptly at 7 pm and the second at 9 pm.

FF Tickets

For more information on the designers and musicians, follow the links below!!

A Guide to the FASHFEST Model Casting

This Sunday FASHFEST will host its annual model casting for Canberra’s biggest red carpet fashion event. On 4 June, at the National Convention Center, more than 400 models will strut their stuff hoping to be selected for FASHFEST 2017. The casting has previously attracted record breaking numbers of aspiring models.

With the only requirement of models being that they are at least 16 years of age by the time of the event, ALL are welcome at the open casting. No experience is necessary since FASHFEST provides extensive training.

While a model casting may seem daunting, especially for those with little experience, I’ve taken the time to create a little guide to get you through the day. It’s based on my own experience. I applied last year and landed on the catwalk. I had a blast!



REGISTER. This may seem obvious but it’s a step that can be forgotten in the excitement and buzz around the event. So, if you haven’t registered, head on over to FASHFEST, enter you details and follow the prompts. Registrations close on 1 June.

FASHFEST Model casting tile

If you’ve registered skip this step!


The Lead up

Ensure you are presenting your best self to the judges. The lead up to the casting should involve a rigorous skin care routine, exercise, healthy eating AND lots of water. While this is important it is even more so in the lead up to the actual shows.

PRACTICE! Watch Youtube videos of fashion weeks and walking tutorials. There is an art to walking on the runway that takes practice and thought, for most it doesn’t come naturally. It’s crucial you are able, comfortable and confident with walking in heels too (girls).

AnthonyCaffery-MUSIC-N3S1-EM7B0973 x fashion

The night before

A beauty sleep is essential. While black is in, black bags under your eyes is a bad look. Have a bath, moisturize every inch of yourself and wash your hair. Again, while this may seem self-explanatory, some seem to forget…

Make sure you have suitable heels to walk in and an appropriate outfit ready to go (see the model info pack emailed to you upon registration).

Pack food and water as it is a long day and you’ll need energy.



Head into the foyer of the National Convention Center and make your way to the registrations desk, where you’ll be assigned a number and have things explained to you. Mingle and chat with others until the FASHFEST team tells you what’s next. Stay calm and avoid being pretentious.

Have fun. The model casting is a fun day, with photographers clicking away and music. Make friends. Take selfies. Tag #FASHFEST. Enjoy yourself.



This may seem terrifying at first but it’s the best part of the day and the whole point of the day. You’ll learn heaps.

Dan Cummins (4)

During my first casting a good friend told me a story about her first casting.

She had arrived as support for her friend not actually wanting to walk. Smack on time she registered but her group ended up being the very last to walk (that’s the luck of the draw). When she was finally called to walk, she was a bit tired and feeling impatient. Still, she stormed the makeshift runway like she was Kate Moss. All her nerves had disappeared throughout the day. She was focused, determined and ended up being selected over her friend. My experience was very much the same. When on the runway you forget about the audience, you focus on your posture, breathing and walk.

My point being, don’t wind yourself up or psychic yourself out, remain calm collected and natural. Focus on your steps, left foot ALWAYS in front of right, as Gigi says, everyone will notice if you don’t, its social suicide. Relax your shoulders, lean slightly back, keep your arms still but ensure you look natural. Again, watch YouTube fashion shows and tutorials before the day as they provide step-by-step instructions on how best to carry yourself down the runway.


As I am not a professional runway model, I’ve reached out to a couple of friends who are. They are both veterans of Paris, Milan, New York and London fashion weeks. I’ve asked them how they prepare for castings and what advice they could give someone for their first casting.

Timur Muharemovic

Agencies: Scoop Models and Premium Models

Tell me about Men’s Fashion week? I don’t sleep, its optional, things are just too crazy but sleep is important. I don’t get nervous, its the same routine each casting.

Do you prepare for castings? No, not really. I’m always ready.

Skin care tips? I always use face cream after the shower to keep hydrated.


Luke Volker

Agencies: Boss- Cape Town, Elite Models Milan, Marilyn Paris, Kult Hamburg and Wilhelmina Models London & LA

How do you approach model castings? What works for me is not to be too much of a kiss ass, that was i become part of the crowd. Oh and to always back yourself 100% of the way in whatever they ask you to do. No one likes a half ass effort.

How do you prepare for castings? I’m pretty much ready to o whenever. Unless I’v had a  big night before I’ll need more time to get ready because little sleep and alcohol make my face puffy haha.

Skin Care tips? I wash and moisturize twice a day and drink a lot of water


All in all, it is a fun day and a worthwhile experience whether you think you’re up for it or not. The judges are looking for a wide variety of models to cater for the vast range of designers.

The casting is the beginning of an exciting and busy lead up to FASHFEST, which will be held at the National Convention Center from 28-30 September 2017. Head to their Facebook page to stay up-to-date and get involved with FASHFEST.

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Look forward to seeing you all ready to walk at the casting! I would love to hear your feedback on castings and runway experience in the comments. head over to our facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date.


Le Marché des Merveilles Montres… and memes?

Now, as those you who follow either of my Instagram accounts would know, I’m a little obsessed with Gucci’s new line of memes. You may be curious as to why one of the largest fashion houses in the world is now making memes, but it’s actually a truly genius marketing scheme.


As you know Gucci’s is somewhat unobtainable due to the lavish price tag, and therefore bough by an older demographic who can actually afford such extravagant items. However, there is now a much younger very wealthy generation flaunting Gucci and other high end labels. These consist of celebrities, top models and now famous bloggers.

This is where Gucci’s latest marketing campaign is genius. They have collaborated with an art project in the digital space, and have created a line-up of clever memes all featuring the new Le Marché des Merveilles collection of watches. Each meme has a bio about the artist that created the artwork each adding their own spin on the Gucci watch. With no two the same, artists incorporate common fads and trends seen in memes today.


Gucci has created a very clever and effective marketing campaign focused at the younger generation. With memes main point being to relate to them Gucci has skilfully executed this. Most people would love a Gucci watch but most people can’t actually afford one making it a joke as it is unobtainable yet relatable.


This is by far my absolute favourite advertisings strategy as it’s highly effective, creative and inclusive.

So much so I think I’ll buy another watch!

Check out more Gucci memes here,  if you’d like to purchase a watch follow the link here, and to follow my insta click here.

Head to our Facebook and twitter pages to stay up to date! Flick me an email or leave a comment, I’d love to hear your feedback.

Happy shopping – N x